10 ︎︎︎ Moisture

by Ami Garmon

I’m standing at the east sea coast in the pouring down rain staring at the site of a chalk cliff which the signs tell us are 70,000 years old.
I'm surrounded by old couples who shrink to the shape and beige color of appliance boxes insisting on dressing alike and consciously neutralizing their gender and sexual aura to control the very essence of nature that they are admiring. The erotic erosion in these coasts and rain forests, teaming with life coming, going, eating, mating, climbing, burrowing and blindly communing...

We all stand together staring vertiginously at the sea. More precisely it is a documentary shown indoors of the sea below, for the rain is falling hard outside despite our best efforts to face the actual wind and mud. I stand next to these people with a feeling of sheer terror in my gut, holding my young son’s hand stoically and benevolently.

At that moment, I dream or imagine I am dreaming something like a dance. In my dream I bend my legs to move into motion. But my thighs freeze suddenly, literally screeching like car breaks: “We ain’t doing this!” they scream.

It occurs to me that this might be about dying. How age has a much different relationship to momentum. That momentum swinging… falling… dancing “the arc between two deaths” is not so enthralling anymore. Getting up again, swirling and falling. That with the years of bruises, the reaching but not catching or being caught… that momentum just isn’t very fun anymore. That momentum, we know now after so many experiences, propels us towards a future of imminent hurts and deaths. The expression „gripping fear“ is rather accurate.

I imagine the dance: The aching arching between words and wordlessness.

I watch as my body moves less….
But eventually the life outside of the body performing overtakes and the performance of living demands a new choreography and one that must yield less, surrender less to motion and carry what it has accumulated.

I stand inside now the Museum of Nature staring at the boll weevil, pushing up earth behind their dimly lit glass covered boxes. It's all so necessary, it occurs to me – we all must push up earth from beneath that which has fallen before us. Even more dismaying is the realization that this dance, this moving of earth and moisture is just completely impersonal. Neutral.
Learning curves have such surprisingly sharp edges.

Momentum means the falling and the crashing of powerful contact with surfaces or persons.
And we never know when these persons have their eyes closed… or just turned elsewhere
when we swing and fall into them with the momentum of desire or the freshness of curiosity.
That these things are all so impersonal and that it is luck,
only luck,
that has those eyes turned towards you at the moment you fall
and their gaze catches you and you don’t crash.
Otherwise it’s just the constant dance,
the constant dance of the movement of moisture and matter.

It’s the indifference that kills me.
I fear this impersonal nature of things, of people because the contact… is so unpredictable and so uncontrollable.
Falling and rising.
“Til death do us part”
But I’m not dead yet.
I just carry the dead in my body.

I was almost surprised that he wrote anything back.
I was relieved that he gave nothing,
Later, I slept with his t-shirt. It still had his smell which I learned could be preserved if kept in a closed bag between sniffings.
The Pharaohs must have known this too.
Because Memories, like lovers, can last forever.
In fact they can outlive our ability to smell them ourselves as our own noses turn to skull holes. A space where memory wafts away and worms wriggle through something that was and something that is not, moving in and out of those holes - the space created of longing, loss and endings.
So, pushing up moisture.
The power to wipe out history. We turn our heads elsewhere and suddenly we call each other something else, we no longer have a name.
Given. It’s taken back.

“But it did happen...” she writes in a box with three dots stuffed small into the corner of a painting frame, like a bottle that someone would eventually discover. Like a vomit bag on a plane used as an envelope for a love letter the next passenger would discover.   
“But it did happen…” in a box with three dots.

I gaze and squint into the darkly lit room, watching the boll weevil pushing up moist earth, moving up dead leaves and trees to make new trees.
Matter to moisture. Moisture to matter.

And suddenly this isn’t so important to me anymore.
Boll weevil don’t take planes or buses and they don’t see the world.
We take planes to change channels. But somewhere we are all being looked at through a glass case seen climbing over that which has fallen before, heart racing at what lies ahead and still panting from that which is still lying between us...our....

We cross water and mountains and lives
to get to where we call Home
only better,
because it’s not.

I’d been pained to know that
I had made an impact on the lives of all whom I’ve loved
in ways the world is made aware of ...
„But it did happen...” in a box with three dots
like a dent in a mattress
like a flag on a building.
Something that shows that this person moved my world,
my earth,
my moisture
and that all this movement
this munching
this moisture
this mating...
actually produces something that pushes us up
a little
I watch the boll weevil move the earth behind their glass boxes much like we imagine seeing the world through our televisions.

These creatures have only ever moved and yet they do not know movement.

I’m willing to consider our time together as earth moved that pushed us up against one another that we moved for a while together until it pushed our eyes and feelers away from one another.
I’m willing to call us a sensation and not a feeling.
I’m willing to not know you or be known by you.

Boll weevil to boll weevil.

Ami Garmon is currently completing the production of her album of spoken word poetry and book entitled “Patience & Hunger”. With two tracks of the album she also contributes to the Podcast A Space for Grief.